We've been invited to another's house for this Thxgiving & the host is aware of my being GF, but that I can eat pretty much anything else. I don't want to be "that person" (anymore) where special things need to be cooked/prep'd/made... so I said that the "usual" fixings are fine, not to go outta the way.
Knowing the type of food these folks eat is no paleo/GF/healthy (IMO)... I'm concerned about not appearing gracious. Seeing as I'm confident all I'll be eating will be turkey & a small (cheat) helping of mashed potatoes.
I was asked to bring a side if I choose & drinks.
Now, the difficult part is in choosing a side that others would partake... other than myself that doesn't compete with what the host has already made. (bread stuffing, candied yams, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, canned cranberry sauce, pie/cookies/brownies for dessert.)
I do plan on having a very large breakfast that day (eggs, bacon, coffee w/cream & maybe fruit) to keep me satiated so I can do the "boy, we had such a big holiday breakfast, my appetite just isn't there." ;)
What recommendations/advice would you have for me?
This is easy. Even when I was eating SAD, I was always asked to bring my fruit salad which is just fine for ancestral eating on a holiday. I've also frequently taken raw veggies. Both are very popular as counter-points to the sweet stuff and many people are trying to eat healthy as they define it, with fruit and veggies universally welcome.
This year I'm going to a gathering and I'm taking the fruit salad by request of the group.
At home, I'm making a goose with baked sweet potatoes, etc.
I'm not GF, so I'd eat traditional sides if they were home-cooked, but my family member is going the instant potatoes, canned yams, and Stove Top route. So I'm bringing carrots & broccoli to steam right before dinner.
I understand your not wanting to appear ungracious, but as a frequent hostess I have a different take on this. I like to make sure my guests have something they can fill up on that makes them feel welcome and happy. Some hostesses feel put out about making special dishes, but a really good hostess wants to make her guests feel comfortable and would prefer having to modify a dish or two or supply a special dish than to see you only eat turkey and feel like she's deprived you. In a way it's less gracious to not speak up and ask for at least one special dish than to just eat the turkey (unless just eating the turkey is your normal diet of course!!!). I definitely would not have a hostess modify the gravy for me, but asking for a plain side vegetable wouldn't be too much.
Giving you an option to bring a side dish is also a way to make you feel welcome and to have something that you can for sure eat (it takes the pressure off of your host or hostess and taking advantage of this offer will help make you appear gracious). Take advantage of this! Steamed or grilled asparagus is simple and bright and pleasing at a holiday meal. A stuffed squash dish with apples and sausage might also be "festive" and would give you a lot to fill up on. If there are kids at the meal, a kid-friendly Paleo apple salad, baked apples, fried apples or home-made applesauce would be welcomed. This would also give you an option at dessert (as in "I'll just have a little more applesauce, thank you"). I'm sure a lot of people will give you good side dish ideas. Go ahead and bring one or two.
If you're interested, I've posted a recipe for baked apples on my low oxalate blog, plus you'll find a recipe for fried apples on the side bar http://lowoxalatefamily.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/holiday-baked-apples/
My non-paleo family loves brussels sprouts sauteed in bacon fat (or with pancetta and sauteed in the renrdered fat) and tossed with a little bit of balsamic vinegar. It converts non-brussels sprout eaters frequently.
whole9 has a recent post on a paleo thanksgiving. everything looks awesome and there are tons of recipes on it.
I'm going to make the cranberries.
Do you really have a need to be GF? Seriously, like doubled over in pain or anaphylaxis? Or are you gluten free because you do the "I don't want to eat wheat because I'm paleo" thing?
If the former, take care of yourself, don't worry about appearing gracious, explain the situation if social faux pas seem imminent. If the latter, suck it up, eat some food and try to appear halfway "normal".
Hack my Paleo Butt 11 Answers
When's the last time you made a turkey? 2 Answers